American footballer Marlin Briscoe, known as “The Magician”, has passed away at the age of 76.
Briscoe became the first black starting quarterback in the American Football League more than 50 years ago…
According to Sky News, Briscoe was first drafted by the Broncos as a cornerback in the 14th round in 1968. This was before he told the team he would return home to be a teacher if he was not allowed to try out as a quarterback.
Briscoe kicked off his career as a star quarterback for Omaha University in the 60s.
As reported by TMZ, the footballer led the team to 3 conference titles and set twenty-two school records.
Nicknamed “The Magician,” he started 5 games under center that season, passing for 1,589 yards and fourteen touchdowns. He also was a runner-up for the AFL Rookie of the Year…
However, he was not given a chance to compete for the quarterback job the following season and he asked to be released, later becoming a Pro Bowl wide receiver with the Buffalo Bills — as well as winning 2 Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins.
Briscoe retired with 224 receptions for 3,537 yards and thirty touchdowns with 6 teams.
He even made it onto the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
The athlete’s daughter, Angela Marriott, confirmed the news on Monday.
She said her father was hospitalized over poor circulation in his legs, prior to dying of pneumonia at a Norwalk, California hospital.
Warren Moon, a former American football quarterback, hailed Briscoe as an inspiration…
“Today is a sad day for me,” said Moon.
“One of my Idols growing up, Marlin Briscoe, passed away. He was one of a few Black QBs of the late 60s that gave me the inspiration that one day I could play QB as a professional. Marlin was the 1st Black QB to start in the AFL,” he finished.
Rest in peace, Marlin Briscoe.